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Screen Hypertensive Patients for Diabetes, USPSTF Advises
Patients with blood pressure above 135/80 mm Hg should undergo screening for type 2 diabetes, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends in the current Annals of Internal Medicine.
The group says that sustained pressure above 135/80 — whether the patient is under treatment for hypertension or not — should trigger screening. There is adequate evidence, the group reports, that lowering pressure below conventional target values in patients with diabetes will lower cardiovascular risks.
There is not enough evidence available to weigh the benefits of screening for diabetes in asymptomatic adults with lower blood pressure. However, according to the task force, screening normotensives on an individual basis may be useful if it "would help inform decisions about coronary heart disease prevention strategies."
The task force made its recommendations after reviewing evidence published since 2003, the date of its previous statement. In addition, the group withdrew a recommendation to screen patients with hyperlipidemia for diabetes.
Published in Physician's First Watch June 3, 2008
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